Louisville—Barry Allen, president and CEO of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation since 1996, has been named as the next executive director of the Gheens Foundation. He is retiring from his current role with the KBF at the end of January.
Allen will join the Gheens Foundation March 2, but will have an orientation and training period led by Carl Thomas through June 30. Thomas has directed the Louisville-based foundation for 10 years.
“I am honored, humbled and thrilled by this unique opportunity to continue to use my head for numbers and my heart for people in perpetuating the legacy of this wonderful and most generous couple,” Allen said.
During Allen’s tenure as KBF president, the foundation’s endowments grew from $52 million to $180 million.
The Gheens Foundation was established in 1957 by C. Edwin and Mary Jo Gheens to continue their interests in education, religious programs and human services. Gheens, a Louisville native, was the owner of a large candy manufacturing business in Louisville and had significant real estate holdings in Louisiana. He and his wife were members of Broadway Baptist church in Louisville.
The Gheens Foundation had an endowment valued at $22 million at the time of Mary Jo Gheens’ death in 1982, according to the release, and assets have grown to about $140 million. (WR)